Eat, Pray, Love: The Best River View Cafes In Varanasi
Image Credit: Instagram @anichaika. Ganga View Cafe in Varanasi is popular for its beautiful open-air rooftop seating.

Spirituality and great food characterise Varanasi, which also has the River Ganga flowing through it. There’s a lot going for the city and charming cafes are only one aspect. Established by both locals and foreigners, some of these cafes offer beautiful views of the river. If Goa has beach shacks, then Varanasi has cafes with river views. We recommend some of the best places to visit if you like to have your meals whilst looking at vast expanses of water: 

Aum Cafe

Situated near the Assi Ghat, Aum Cafe is run by an American woman who has been coming to India for over 20 years. It’s a colourful space that is known for its lemon pancakes, lassis, khichdi and bread pudding with lemon. The menu also features burgers, pizzas and pasta. We highly recommend that you visit for breakfast and try the freshly baked bread. There’s even an organic green tea lassi to be found here.

Location: B1/201, Assi Road, opposite Shri Ram Janki Math, Assi Ghat, Shivala, Varanasi.

Timings: Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-4.30pm.

Cost for two: ₹550

Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe

Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe was established in 1993 as India's first authentic Italian Pizzeria. Tourists from across the world visit the cafe, which is set near the Assi Ghat. The place has al fresco seating and lots of greenery. It’s the ideal setting to indulge in some Italian food and enjoy the beauty of the River Ganga. Choose from margherita, spinach-jalapeno and onion, garlic and mushroom pizza.

Location: B-1/178, Assi Ghat Road, Shivala, Varanasi.

Timings: Daily, 8am-10pm.

Cost for two: ₹500

Ganga View Cafe and Restaurant

Ganga View Cafe is popular for its beautiful open-air rooftop seating. The views from the cafe are unparalleled and make it one of the best places to visit if you want to stare at the expanse of the River Ganga. The place opens all day but there’s a special energy if you visit in the morning. Try the continental, American, North Indian or South Indian breakfast.  

Location: Chausatti Ghat at Sita Guest House, Varanasi.

Timings: Daily, 8am-11pm. 

Cost for two: ₹550

Terracotta Cafe

A health cafe with an Australian-Indian fusion menu, Terracotta Cafe is a rooftop cafe that was set up by an Australian man. The owner, Matt Brice, has pledged that the money generated by the cafe will be used to support local community initiatives like cleaning up the Ganga, combating poverty, helping street animals and funding disabled shelters. The menu also features North-Indian food and pizzas.

Location: B1/146 Assi-Pushkar Talab Road, Assi Road, Varanasi.

Timings: Daily, 9am-11.15pm.

Cost for two: ₹300